Hey Savvy Readers!
Have you ever wanted to escape into a book? It’s not really a hard impulse to understand. Sometimes imaginary worlds are so appealing you just want to crawl between a book’s pages. With the summer coming, I’m beginning to daydream about all the vacations I can’t really afford to take. Instead of dwelling too long on that, I put together a fictional vacation bucket list. These trips don’t cost anything, just a little imagination. So pack your bags!
Middle-earth from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Middle-earth could very well be the most iconic fantasy world in fiction, especially since its arrival on the big screen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and later The Hobbit. It contains so many memorable locations, from the Shire to Lothlorien to the black land of Mordor. There’s something to please everyone, (even if I don’t necessarily recommend Mordor.) And for the long-term Tolkien fans, the recently released Beren and Luthien offers the chance to return to Middle-earth and re-experience the magic that started it all.
Night Vale from Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
If you like oddities and unusual landmarks, the desert town of Night Vale is the perfect stop to add to your imaginary road trip, if you can find it. When you start to see the bloodstone circles, or the Arby’s with the floating lights above it, you’ll know you’ve arrived. From there you can check out the city’s major attractions like the local radio station, the house that doesn’t exist and the dog park. (Just remember not to enter, think about or acknowledge the dog park in any way.)
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
This vacation is definitely for the most adventurous among us. On one hand, it offers a once in a lifetime chance to see real dinosaurs, up close and personal. On the other… there’s always a chance that genetic engineering can go wrong. But surely all the dinosaur selfies you’ll be able to share on social media will be worth it? If you’re a bit more like me, and aren’t an outdoorsy type, consider picking up Michael Crichton‘s newest book, Dragon Teeth, instead. It will give you all the fun of dinosaur hunting from the safety of your home.
Oz from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Follow the Yellow Brick Road and see where it takes you! If you get tired on the way to the Emerald City, stop and take a quick rest by the poppy fields – just don’t stay too long. Once you reach the Emerald City, be sure to get your Wizard-approved green-tinted glasses so you can enjoy marvelous sights like the Emerald Palace and the multi-coloured ponies. If you’re lucky, the Wizard himself might even be available to grant your heart’s desire.
The Wizarding World from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Hogwarts and the larger wizarding world are already so popular that this might be the only place on this list you can actually sort of visit, if you make a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida. But even so, it was a no-brainer to put on this list. I think almost every book lover wished that their Hogwarts letter would arrive at some point in their lives. If you want to relive the magic, consider checking out Harry Potter: Magical Places from the Films by Jody Revenson.
Narnia from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Real talk: Narnia might have been the very first fictional world I wanted to visit so badly when I was just a small savvy reader. It left such an impression on me that even as a cranky university student I used to gripe that I wouldn’t spend money on a wardrobe unless it would take me to Narnia. But let’s admit it, even when it’s frozen in eternal winter, like it was when Lucy first wandered in, Narnia is very appealing. Spending the summer by the sea, in Cair Paravel, sounds basically perfect.
Mythic India from Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman
Of course, we know India is a real (and wonderful) place to visit, but after reading the magical story of Cinnamon, a blind princess who doesn’t speak, I couldn’t help adding it to our list of fictional vacation spots! After all, the Rajah and Rani offer a room in the palace to anyone who can get Cinnamon to talk, and that sounds like #vacationgoals to me! The book’s lush illustrations by Divya Srinivasan only make this destination more desirable. And besides, who wouldn’t want a talking tiger as a tour guide, even if it is a man-eater?
What fictional destinations would be first on your bucket list? Did we miss anywhere you’d desperately go? Are there any less-pleasant, dystopian worlds you’d take a trip to, despite your better judgement? Let us know if the comments below, or tweet @SavvyReader!